And at some point, feeling sort of like a slimeball, i quietly got my camera up and took a shot of Fred and Bob’s reflection in the Wall. It felt ghoulish, almost, but I'm glad i did it, and i eventually gave both Fred and Bob copies of the photo, and they were glad i had done it too.
Tim, I have nothing in my past, nothing that is even light years close, to your friend Fred or his Navy pal. Nothing. I've spent a lot of time with people like that over the past few years and I know this, really deep down.
but he was good. I had to pay attention and work at it.
I was there a few months ago and Destin is way better off, during and post-Hurricane Micheal, than Panama City.
Destin looked normal. PC has been devastated. As you drive west along the gulf coast the damage decreases quickly. In PC there wasn't a tree left standing above about ten feet high. Most structures were damaged badly. My mother-in-law sat that storm out inside a closet in her front hallway amidst 200 MPH winds and torrents of rain. The house collapsed around her. PC was hit by the western eyewall, the worst part of the hurricane.
She minored in theater. She was a lounge singer in that area to help fund her education, so maybe while your nephew plays great blues guitar...
Chris MartiA dad story:
My dad was 93, which is a lot older than anyone else in my family. He lived a few blocks away in an independent living facility. Simply put, he had a one-bedroom apartment with meal privileges and house cleaning services. He never needed much more by way of support, which was great. He did have congestive heart failure, two very weak kidneys, and he used a walker. Beyond that, he was self-sufficient and mentally sharp. Periodically he'd have an episode of some sort and I'd meet him in the emergency room where we'd sit while they diagnosed whatever issue he was having that day. One time he was dehydrated. One time he had an infection in his knee. Stuff like that. Sometimes he'd be admitted for a day or two, but inevitably, or so so it seemed, he'd come home and go right back to his routine.
We were on one of those periodic emergency room visits. This time he was getting an echocardiogram, and while that was happening he had a small heart attack. So, of course, he had to be admitted to the hospital for more tests. His blood oxygen was low so they put him in ICU, on oxygen, and then on a CPAP machine, which he fucking hated. I talked to the ICU doctors and they thought he would benefit from angioplasty, maybe a stent, and especially a valve replacement. But they weren't sure he could survive anesthesia, let alone the surgical procedure. I talked to my dad and we decided to wait on that stuff so he could stabilize, get stronger, and maybe do that later on. He said, during this conversation, "I've had a long life, you know." I agreed, of course, and told him my fondest wish was to live to be 93, too.
As I was leaving for the night (I'd promised dad I'd come back in the morning, first thing) the head ICU doc, a really nice, smart woman, stopped me and said I should think about what to do if dad got worse. She didn't think his heart was going to last much longer and so she was giving me that talk . I processed it as much as I could and called my brother to tell him to get his ass to the hospital first thing in the morning. I went home and went to bed, troubled, but hopeful.
I went back to the ICU in the morning, 6:00 or so, only to find... no dad. The room was occupied but by some other patient. I went to the nurse's station to ask where he was and they said, "Oh, he did well last night so we transferred him to an acute care floor. He doesn't need to be in ICU anymore." So I think, "Cool, maybe this is really gonna be ok." I went down to find him on the floor below, and he was sitting up, eating cereal, and watching the news on television. This was October 30, 2017.
As we're talking he tells me he's having some trouble getting oxygen, and he's short of breath. I put the oxygen mask on him. He did okay for a few minutes but the blood oxygen monitor was falling, from 93... 90... 88... 85...81... I hit the nurse's call button and she came in and asked some questions and went off to get a CPAP. He's clearly getting worried and stressed, and worse, and worse. Pretty soon he's gasping for air, and losing consciousness, so I hit the emergency call button. If you ever do this in an acute care facility, be prepared for some serious shit to go down.
Roughly 20 seconds later about a dozen doctors and nurses blasted in with all kinds of equipment - crash carts, bags, tubes and other stuff. They're getting ready to do something serious to dad, and they're all coming right fat me because I'm between them and him. And then it hit me - that nice ICU doctor had
in mind last night when she talked to me - so I threw up my hand, palm out, and said with as much authority as I could muster, "
" And they stopped. This surprised me. After a second or so, one of the docs says, "Who are you ? He has no orders in the system," while pointing at dad. I suspect this means they don't have any record of a DNR, or an R, or anything, so they're getting ready to throw my sorry ass out of the way and cut open dad's trachea to insert a ventilator tube. I said, "I'm his son" which once again worked. They didn't leave, though. They all stood there, watching as dad faded. I put my hand on his chest. I have no idea why. I could feel his breathing get shallow and slow, slower, then even slower, and seem to disappear. Then he did that death rattle thing and let out a loud moan, both of which I still have nightmares about, but I kept my hand on his chest where it was and talked to him. He got absolutely still and quiet after a while and the docs, every single one of them, were still standing there with us in that little hospital room, just staring. This was weird, having an audience at the very last thing you'd ever want to have an audience.
He was pronounced dead about 15 minutes after I entered his room that morning. It seemed like a lot longer. An amazing coincidence. I'm still processing that day and it happened three and a half years ago. Sometimes it feels like I should have let the doctors do something. Some of the time it feels like I saved dad a crapload of pain and suffering. I like that last version but I really still don't know if I did the right thing. It just happened that way.
KDF . . .
Forgot to ask, or missed it. What is KDF?
KDF did well for quite some time, not sure how long, until Kenneth got into experimenting with an AF-style practice. And by "got into" I mean jumped into the deep end of the pool naked and with no lifeguard. The purpose was to eliminate emotions and to find some "zone" in which all things would appear fresh, uber-bright, colorful and untainted. It was ridiculous to me. My feeling was (still is) that dharma was all about recognizing our human-ness. That includes all of our various foibles. Emotions, especially. And dealing with it, knowing it, grokking it so deeply that it was no longer the cause of "suffering."
Kenneth became combative about this and the rift his quest was causing (I know, "combative" belies the whole objective he'd set for himself). So an online dharma friend and fellow DhO/KFD poster and me (Jackson, "Awouldbehipster" by screen name), left KFD and started the Dharma Forum Refugee Camp. I really can't recall when that happened, but it's discoverable over on AwakeNetwork.) Kenneth showed up on DFRC once or twice early on, and we banned him due to his weird, un-Kenneth-like behavior.
That's the second schism.
PS: Tim, the "reply all" thing is a real pain in the butt to scroll through, very very heavy, especially if you have some chat going on in between. So I am very happy that Chris did not accept that!
Not sure of where I was going with that, but I'm not going to feel to bad about digressions on a thread like this.
I would like to say, by way of a sort-of disclaimer . . .
Besides, Tim tells me people love history, especially in the form of gossip, innuendo, and mud-slinging. He puts on a good air but that's what he's really after.